Student Loans

Sallie Mae #

SLM Corporation

Trade nameSallie Mae
FormerlyStudent Loan Marketing Association
TypePublic company, Corporation, formerly Government-sponsored enterprise
Traded asNasdaq: SLM, S&P 400 Component
IndustryFinancial services, Education
HeadquartersNewark, Delaware, U.S.
ProductsPrivate student loans, Credit cards, College planning tools, Retail banking
  • Subsidiaries

    • Sallie Mae Bank
    • SLM Financial Corporation
  • Sallie Mae also operates offices in New Castle, Delaware; Newton, Massachusetts; Indianapolis, Indiana; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Sterling, Virginia.

  • SLM Corporation (commonly known as Sallie Mae; originally the Student Loan Marketing Association) is a publicly traded U.S. corporation that provides consumer banking.

  • The company’s primary business is creating, servicing, and collecting private education loans.

  • The company also provides online tools and resources for college planning.

  • Sallie Mae previously originated federally guaranteed student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and worked as a servicer and collector of federal student loans on behalf of the Department of Education.

  • The company now offers private education loans.

  • 2010.9.17 - Sallie Mae acquired federally insured loans from Citigroup-owned Student Loan Corporation worth $28 billion.
  • 2013 - SLM Corporation, the company that operates Sallie Mae, was formed in 2013.
  • 2014.2.25 - Sallie Mae announced the launch of Navient, a separate entity for federal student loan servicing.
  • 2014.4.30 - Sallie Mae spun off its loan servicing operation and most of its loan portfolio into a separate, publicly traded entity called Navient Corporation. (Navient is the largest servicer of federal student loans and acts as a collector on behalf of the Department of Education.)
    • Sallie Mae legally separated from Navient, and made its primary focus private student loans, banking products, and credit cards for college students and their families.
  • 2021.4 - Sallie Mae announced a partnership with MPOWER Financing in April 2021, to expand access to higher education for international and DACA students.

LendKey #


IndustryPersonal finance, Platform as a Service Software
FoundedOctober 2007; (as Fynanz Inc.)
FoundersVince Passione, Michael Stallmeyer, Anoop Thyagarajan
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Branch inCincinnati, U.S.
Area servedUnited States
ProductsPrivate Student Loans, Student Loan Refinancing, Green Loans, Home Improvement Loans
  • LendKey (formerly Fynanz Inc.) is a lending platform and online marketplace that allows consumers to apply for and receive private student loans, student loan refinancing and home improvement loans from their local credit unions and community banks.

  • LendKey’s cloud-based tools and infrastructure enable the nation’s 13,000+ community financial institutions to enter online lending and offer loans for various asset classes.

  • At first it operated as a peer-to-peer loan platform for student loans.

  • In 2013 the company rebranded under the new LendKey name, and took its lending platform to credit unions and community banks.

Kiva (organization) #

Kiva Microfunds (also known as

FoundedOctober 2005
Tax ID no.71-0992446
FocusEconomic development
LocationSan Francisco, California, United States
Area servedWorld-wide
  • Kiva is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students in 77 countries.

  • Kiva’s mission is “to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.”

  • Lenders do not receive interest on the money they lend.

  • Kiva includes personal stories of each person who applies for a loan so that lenders can connect with borrowers on a human level.

  • Kiva relies on a network of field partners to administer the loans.
    • These field partners can be microfinance institutions, social impact businesses, schools or non-profit organizations.
    • These partners are local organizations working in communities to vet borrowers, provide services and administer loans.
    • Borrowers pay interest on most loans to the field partners.
      • Kiva itself does not charge interest on its loans;
      • These microfinancing institutions lend out money with high interest compared to bank finance in mature markets, averaging a portfolio yield of over 30%.
  • Operating costs
    • Kiva cover most of its operating costs through voluntary donations made by Kiva lenders.
    • The remainder of our costs are covered through grants and donations from foundations and supporters.
    • Additionally, select Field Partners contribute small platform fees.
    • Kiva never takes a fee from lenders. 100% of funds lent on Kiva go to funding loans.
  • Lending process
    • Kiva works with more than 300 microfinance institutions, social impact businesses, schools and non-profit organizations around the world, called “Field Partners”, that post profiles of qualified local entrepreneurs on the Kiva website.

    • Lenders browse borrower profiles on and choose an entrepreneur they wish to fund.

    • The lenders transfer their funds to Kiva through credit card processing or PayPal, which waives its transaction fee in these cases.

    • Lenders can loan money in increments of $25.

    • After receiving lenders’ money, Kiva aggregates loan capital from the individual lenders and transfers it to the appropriate Field Partners, which disburse the loan to the borrower.

    • Kiva does not charge interest on the capital sent to Field Partners, but often Field Partners do charge some level of interest to borrowers to cover administration costs.

    • Interest is typically higher on loans from microfinance institutions in developing countries than interest rates on larger loans in developed countries because of the administrative costs of overseeing many tiny loans, and the increased risk.

    • As the entrepreneurs repay their loans with interest, the Field Partners remit funds back to Kiva.

    • As the loan is repaid, the Kiva lenders can withdraw their principal or re-lend it to another entrepreneur.

  • Loan use

    • Female-owned businesses
    • Covid-19
    • Green loans
    • Support for higher education
    • Medical loans
    • Support for refugees
    • Shelter
    • etc.
  • Kiva U.S.

    • In 2011, Kiva launched Kiva U.S. , a 0% interest peer-to-peer lending pilot program for entrepreneurs in the United States, as part of efforts to “cut lending costs through technology”.
    • The loans posted to Kiva U.S. are often from borrowers who have been rejected for loans by traditional banking institutions, but on Kiva U.S. they do not need to be able to produce high credit scores or collateral.
    • Kiva U.S.uses a system of trustees, who vouch for the borrowers.
    • Kiva U.S.trustees can be local non-profits, service organizations, businesses, faith organizations or community leaders.
    • The average loan size for US borrowers is $5,000. US borrowers average about two years to repay loans.
  • Kiva City

    • Kiva City provides local business owners and entrepreneurs in U.S.cities with the opportunity to crowdsource loans.
    • It was launched by Kiva and former US President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative America conference in Chicago in 2011.
    • Kiva City locations include: Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. , Newark, Richmond, Little Rock, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Louisville, San Francisco, New York City, and Oakland.
  • Kiva launched a more direct peer-to-peer microlending platform, called Kiva Zip, in 2012.

    • Kiva Zip transfers funds directly to borrowers without outsourcing disbursements and repayment collection to field partners.
    • Instead, Kiva Zip partners with local institutions called Trustees, who vet loan applicants, provide mentorship, and may post profiles and updates on their behalf.
    • Currently, Kiva Zip borrowers do not pay any interest or fees.
    • Lenders are protected from currency risk but do not earn interest.
    • Kiva Zip is considered an experimental platform, and offers loans in the United States and in Kenya.
  • Kiva Labs

    • Google awarded a $3 million Global Impact Award to Kiva in 2013 to fund the Kiva Labs project.
    • Labs initiatives include lowering interest rates, providing more flexible repayment terms that accommodate issues like seasonal profits in farming, and offering longer-term loans for investments like education.
    • Labs also focuses on providing access to clean energy technology and using mobile technology in ways that will bridge the knowledge gap.
    • At the time of the lab’s launch, Kiva lenders had crowdfunded “132,000 agricultural loans; 4,600 green loans, and 670 mobile tech loans.

EdAid #


IndustryFinTech, Student Finance, Charity, Non-Profit
Founded in2016
FounderTom Woolf
HeadquartersLondon, SW1E, United Kingdom
  • EdAid is a funding platform for higher education.

  • EdAid partners with university and professional schools to defer tuition payment, interest-free.

    • EdAid lets students defer tuition fees, interest-free.
    • Study now, pay later is the mechanism by which students from underrepresented communities can get fair, affordable access to higher education.
    • EdAid ensures that students and their education provider have shared risk, shared reward model that builds greater level of equity into Higher Education.
    • Students must be on a UK, US, Canadian or Australian accredited course with the permanent right to remain in their country of study after graduation.
  • EdAid has offices in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.

  • Fees

    • EdAid charges a technology and processing fee to the education provider and zero fees to the student.
  • EdAid is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and students are validated through a three-phase process that includes identity, fraud and AML checks before starting an application.

  • Repayments are pegged to the rate of the Consumer Price Index without additional interest charges.

  • Students will typically start to repay 10% of their monthly salary after they graduate and are in full-time employment.

  • EdAid Foundation

    • The EdAid Foundation is a UK-registered charity that provides matched funding from corporations, trusts, high net-worth individuals and alumni.

Discover Financial #

Discover Financial Services

Traded asNYSE: DFS, S&P 500 component
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1985; (as a subsidiary of Sears)
HeadquartersRiverwoods, Illinois, U.S.
ProductsPayment systems, Credit cards, Finance, Consumer banking, Loans
  • Discover Financial Services is an American financial services company that owns and operates Discover Bank, which offers checking and savings accounts, personal loans, home equity loans, student loans and credit cards.

  • Parent

    • Dean Witter Reynolds (1985–1997)
    • Morgan Stanley (1997–2007)
    • Independent (2007–present)
  • Subsidiaries

    • Diners Club International
    • Discover Bank
    • Discover Network
    • Pulse
  • Competitors

    • In the United States, Discover, as a card network, competes primarily with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

SoFi #

SoFi Technologies, Inc. (SoFi)

Traded asNasdaq: SOFI
IndustryPersonal finance, Software
FoundedAugust 2011;
FoundersMike Cagney Dan Macklin James Finnigan Ian Brady
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Products: Student loans - Home loans - Personal loans - Stockbroker - Wealth management - Credit card
    • SoFi Technologies, Inc. (now the parent company of Social Finance, Inc.) is an American online personal finance company.
    • SoFi provides financial products that includes student loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit card, investing, and banking through both mobile app and desktop interfaces.

Products #

  • Lending
    • Personal loans, student loans, home loans, and loan refinancing.
    • SoFi uses an underwriting model that examines free cash flow, professional history and education in addition to a history of responsible bill payment to evaluate its borrowers.
  • Trading
    • In 2018, SoFi began to offer commission and fee-free trading of stocks and exchange-traded funds.
    • In 2019, SoFi introduced their own robo advisor service called SoFi Automated Investing, charging no management fees.
    • Cryptocurrency trading
      • In February 2019, SoFi announced they’d be partnering with Coinbase to offer cryptocurrency trading.
      • Cryptocurrency transactions are one of SoFi’s only products that have fees, currently set at a 1. 25% markup.
  • Banking
    • SoFi currently offers an online cash management account that acts as a hybrid checking/savings account.
    • They achieve FDIC insurance through their partner banks: MetaBank, Hills Bank and Trust Company, EagleBank, East West Bank, Tristate Bank Capital Bank, and Wells Fargo.
  • Credit Score Monitoring & Budgeting Tool
    • The service allows users to track their money in bank, credit card, investment, and loan balances and transactions.
    • No-cost credit score tracking with weekly updates is provided through TransUnion.